A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order is a written instruction issued by a medical doctor that instructs health-care providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a patient in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. CPR is an invasive, traumatic process and often involves one or multiple following procedures: chest compressions, defibrillation, tracheal intubation, artificial ventilation, and drug administration. Despite its aggressive life-sustaining measures, CPR is not always successful. Moreover, it could cause significant harm with little to no benefits for patients. Therefore, it is critically important for patients and surrogate decision makers to be able to make informed decisions regarding CPR. This entry discusses DNR orders using a life-span perspective, including the importance of having DNR discussions and accurate knowledge of DNR orders. In addition, ...

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